« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Sometimes one member has merely an echo of itself
in the next.
Psalm v. 3.
"Hearken to the voice of my supplication, my King and my God, For unto thee will I pray."
Ps. xxiii. 3, xxvii. 11, 12.
In all these forms the above logical distinction is repeated.
C. With double Members.
When there is a richer fulness of thoughts and images, both members are doubled. Then, either each member has its own sub-parallelism, or it overleaps and disregards the parallelism. Here, likewise, the same logical distinctions are repeated.
Psalm xxxi. 11.
"For my life is consumed in affliction,
My strength fails because of my sin,
A passage may be contrasted with such a double member three or more times. By this arrangement, the greatest compass is given to rhythmical periods. The prophets, in particular, are fond of this more extended form.
Habakkuk iii. 17.
"Though the fig-tree bear not fruit,
• Ps. xl. 17, xxxv. 26, xxxvii. 14, lxxix. 2. Cant. v. 3. Mich. i. 4. Ps. xxx. 6, lv. 22, xliv. 3. Cant. ii. 3.
The flock fail from the fold,
Amos ii. 9, v. 5, vii. 17. Mich. ii. 13, vii. 3. Ewald distinguishes what he calls an extended rhythm, which is the extension of a couplet into a period of ten or eleven syllables, in Psalm ii. 12, xxxii. 4, 6, xxxix. 2, lxii. 4, 5, 10, 11. But here I find only connected members, where there is no symmetry of thought, like that described in the next section.
3. RHYTHMICAL SYMMETRY.
As, among us, a short syllable may be made long, by the tone, (tact,) so the Hebrews have sometimes a symmetry of the members of a sentence, which is not founded in the sense of the passage, but is only continued by the rhythmical movement, when once it is begun. This contrivance introduces variety into the style, which would otherwise be stiff and uniform.
This rhythmical symmetry consists in having the same number of words in each member, (as, for example, in Ps. xix. 12,) or in having a great difference in the number of words in the two members, (for example, Ps. xiv. 7, xxx. 3.) The parallelism also may be double.
Psalm xxxi. 23.
"And I said in my haste,
'I am cut off from before thine eyes;'
But yet thou didst hear the voice of my prayer,
In the use of this form there is sometimes a transition
to an unmeasured style.
Malachi i. 6.
"A son honoreth his father, And a servant his master :
If I, then, be a father, where is my honor?
And if I be a master, where is the fear of me?
Zech. xiii. 3. It often occurs in Jeremiah.
Sometimes the course of the rhythmical periods differs from the logical order of thought.
Psalm cii. 8.
"I watch, and am
Like a solitary sparrow on the house-top."
§ 134, a.
RHYTHM INDICATED BY THE ACCENT.
The symmetry, and the other rhythmical relations, of the members, are denoted by the accents." But the distinction between the prosaic and the poetic accentuation of the books of Job, Proverbs, and the Psalms, is of no great importance. In the former, silluk with sophpasuk marks the end; in the former, athnah, (—,) and in the latter merka-mahpak, (—) designate the main
Among the Jews, recitation degenerated into cantillation; and so the accents acquired a musical signification, and are called neginoth, (.) A scheme of this cantillation according to the accents is called Sarka, and may be found in Jablonski's Preface to his Hebrew Bible. This use of the accents has erroneously been looked upon as their original use. Christian scholars first discovered the logical, rhythmical nature of the accents. Bohle, Santin. sac. s. ex Accentibus; 1636. Wasmuth, Instit. Accentuat. Heb.; 1664. Jo. Frank, Diacrit. Sac.; 1710. J. F. Hirt. Syst. Accent. Heb.; 1752. C. B. Spitzner, Instit. ad Analyt. s. Text. Heb. V. T. ex Accentibus; 1786. Hupfeld (1. c. p. 826) arrives at some new conclusions.
Ewald, Gram. 2d ed. p. 89. The poetical has shorter and easier propositions, and more manifold and subtile distinctions.
division of the verses. But, in the smaller verses, this is effected by means of the lesser distinctive accents, which are commonly used to mark the subdivisions. But, although the observance of the accents is useful in determining the rhythmical proportion, yet we are not to follow them in a servile spirit; for, in general, it is doubtful that the authors of the accentuation were clearly conscious of the nature of rhythm. In two psalms (cxi. cxii.) the half-verses are indicated by the initial letters, which follow the order of the alphabet."
§ 134, b.
STROPHES, OR SYMMETRY OF VERSES.
It would be a very natural occurrence if this same symmetry extended to the larger divisions, to the periods and sections, and formed strophes. Even in prose there is a similar proportion, either more or less distinct."
It has long been known that rhythmical strophes (or such as have definite outward forms) could be found, namely:
1. In the alphabetic poems, where single verses are sometimes connected so as to correspond with one another.
"To thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul !
2 O my God, I trust in thee!
Let not my enemies triumph over me!
3 Yea, none that hope in thee shall be put to shame; They shall be put to shame who wickedly forsake thee.
Let me not be put to shame!
• On this whole subject, see De Wette, in Bib. Repository, vol. iii. p. 478, sqq., [Nordheimer, Heb. Gram. § 1120-1158,] and Carpzov, Int. ii. p. 3, sqq. See Köster, on the Strophes, or Parallelism of the Heb. Poetry, in Theol. St. and Kr., (1831,) p. 40, and his work das B. Hiob u. d. Pred. Salom., &c.; Schlesw. 1831. The author goes too far.
4 Show me thy ways, O Lord, Teach me thy paths!
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me;
For thou art the God, from whom cometh my help;
In thee do I trust at all times!
6 Remember thy kindness, O Lord, and thy mercy,
Which thou hast exercised of old!
7 Remember not the faults and transgressions of my youth; According to thy mercy remember thou me,
For thy goodness' sake, O Lord!
"Good and righteous is Jehovah; Therefore showeth he to sinners the way; 9 The humble he guideth in his statutes, And the humble he teacheth his way.
10 All the doings of Jehovah are mercy and truth, To those who keep his covenant and his precepts.
11 For thy name's sake, O Jehovah,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great!"
Ps. xxxiv. cxlv. Prov. xxxi. 10, sqq. Lam. i. ii. iv. Sometimes two or more verses are connected in greater strophes; for example, Ps. xxxvii. cxix.
2. Strophes occur distinguished by the refrain, (or "burden,") or something similar.
Isaiah ix. 8-x. 4.a
"The Lord sendeth a word against Jacob; It cometh down to Israel.
9 His whole people shall feel it;
Ephraim, and the inhabitants of Samaria,
Who say, in pride and arrogance of heart,
10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones; The sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.'
11 Jehovah raiseth up the enemies of Rezin against you,
And armeth your adversaries;
12 The Syrians before, the Philistines behind,